Nearly a third (31.9%) of all online advertising traffic in China was invalid in 2019, costing the industry an estimated RMB28 billion (US$3.9 billion) in lost adspend, according to Miaozhen Systems.
The measurement and analytics firm analysed the traffic of 65,000 campaigns by 2,000 brands across 1,200 platforms in China, including desktop and mobile display, social media, KOL marketing, online consumer leads, TV, outdoor and more.
It found that invalid traffic (defined by Google as intentionally fraudulent traffic as well as accidental clicks) made up 31.9% of all digital advertising traffic, up by 1.7% from 2018.
The proportion of invalid display traffic dropped from 43.7% in 2018 to 42.6%, while video rose from 20.4% to 22.6% in the same period.
A massive 48% of social media ad traffic was found to be invalid in 2019, while more than half (57.5%) of KOL fans were discovered to be fake, with baby and mum KOLs having the highest rate of invalid fans (65.1%).
Around one-quarter (26%) of all online consumer sales leads were invalid, with "major implications for auto and other industries that rely on online lead collection", the company said.
Outdoor had the lowest IVT rate at 4.2% of traffic.
Miaozhen claims its IVT filtration solution has an average IVT rate of 4.7%, far lower than the 2019 average of 31.9%.
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